21 Apr 8 Ways to Go Green As A Family
Throughout the past 50 years, Earth Day has been recognized all around the world, with many using this day to reflect on their own ecological footprint and its impact on the world around them. This year, as we are spending more time at home with our families, it’s important to keep in mind that there are so many little changes we can make each day to reduce our impact on the environment.
- When electronics are not in use, turn them off and unplug them. For a quicker way to do this, plug devices into a UL-certified power strip and switch the whole group off each night. Try not to keep any phones or laptops plugged in all night- charge them during the day if possible and unplug them as soon as they are fully charged.
- Watch the water usage. You can save gallons of water a day by turning it off in between steps in your daily routine. For instance, turn it off while you’re brushing your teeth until it’s time to rinse, and teach your kids to do the same! Instead of having a bubble bath in your or your child’s daily routine, have showers be the “regular method” and make bubble baths a special occasion or an incentive. If you’re using a shampoo/conditioner that needs to stay on for a few minutes before being rinsed, turn the water off in the meantime.
- Transfer regular light switches to dimmer switches. Simply dimming the lights can not only cut down your electric bill, but can also drastically reduce the amount of energy you’re using.
- Looking for new chore ideas for your kids? Even the little ones can help load the dishwasher. Make sure your dishwasher is fully loaded before you run it, and rather than wasting water rinsing dishes before use, invest in a powerful dishwashing grime remover that can tackle any food residue that may still be on your dishes.
- Reuse as much as you can. You can reuse plastic food containers as tupperware or storage for smaller items around the house. Make a habit of saving your toilet paper and paper towel rolls- You can use them during craft time with your kids!
- Old toys, furniture, or kitchenware? Don’t dump, donate! Use this extra time at home together to go over the inventory of old/used items in your house, and rather than throwing them away, begin filling bags and boxes with items to donate once the Coronavirus curve has been flattened. Depending on what kind of furniture you have, The Salvation Army may even come to your house and pick it up! Even if you think it’s not worth anyone keeping, if they determine they can’t use it, they’ll let you know.
- (Once social distancing is over), organize a carpool schedule for your children’s friends and your own! Once things begin to return back to normal, consider running your errands with friends and family members. Make a list of places you need to go, determine the best route for getting from place to place without backtracking in between, and take one car to get everything you need. Speak to other parents at your child’s school/activities and see if there is a way to work out a carpool schedule.
- Pick up a new environmentally-friendly hobby that you can all participate in together, like gardening! Get out of the house for a bit into the fresh air of your front lawn or backyard! This will not only make your house once of the prettiest on the block, but it will benefit the environment at the same time. It will also give your kids a new sense of responsibility- Have them take turns watering it each day, and they will love to watch it grow over time! If you live in a shared living community, such as an apartment, ask your leasing office if there is an outside area where you can plant, or have an indoor house plant instead!